The Challenge

    A vertically integrated global leader in packaging launched a new strategy, shifting their offer from individual paper and plastic products to packaging solutions. This shift required the transformation of their commercial capability with implications for R&D, marketing, sales and technical service.

    The Approach

    Market Edge partnered with the business to develop a holistic, multi-year approach to transforming commercial capability throughout their global organization (6B USD sales, 23K employees, operations in 30 countries). The approach included

    • Assessing Sales and Marketing Capability – comparison of current and target capability versus external benchmarks leading to clear development priorities and an appropriate sequence for implementation; reassessing at appropriate intervals to quantify progress and return on investment
    • Developing the Approach – working with the client, a sales and marketing curriculum was designed to address gaps and support existing strategy
    • Building Commercial Capability – a combination of applied training and experience provided participants with multiple opportunities to ‘learn while doing’
    • Sharing ‘good practice’ – enabling business units to efficiently leverage learning in other parts of the company, while avoiding ‘not invented here’ syndrome or obsessing about ‘best practice’
    • Aligning capability development with specific business objectives (e.g. increased SOW at Key Accounts, improved margins for integrated solutions sales) to quantify return on investment.
    • Collaboratively Managing the Program – a dedicated team to set strategy, coordinate constituent projects, ensure resources were invested appropriately and consult with CEO sponsor and Steering Committee stakeholders

    Commercial Excellence Curriculum

    Critical Success Factors & Outcome

    Over a three year period, the organization implemented new innovation, sales and marketing processes, while developing the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver their strategy. Critical success factors included

    • Executive leadership – the CEO was the visible, engaged sponsor; the Executive Leadership team (all functions!) piloted development curriculum before those programs were rolled out in the organization, ensuring leaders had clear expectations and could reinforce the learning
    • Business Unit Tailoring – capability development (content and pacing) was aligned to each business unit’s strategy and business calendar; tools and content examples were tailored to ensure relevance and easy adoption
    • Process Integration – commercial processes including ‘stage gate’, forecasting / budgeting and associated platforms (CRM and ERP) were aligned with common vocabulary, tools and metrics
    • Executive leadership – Commercial Excellence was emphasized as one of three company strategic initiatives; CEO established annual awards program for Sales Excellence and Marketing Excellence to recognize and share best practice
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